Tucson : 10/20/18 - 11/10/18

Phoenix : 11/15/18 - 12/02/18


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Directed by CASEY STANGL

We’ve come a long way, baby … A loving tribute to Ohio wife and mother turned longtime Arizona resident who made herself into a national superstar as a best-selling author and syndicated journalist lauded for opening up the secret world of the mother and housewife. A comic look at one of our country’s most beloved voices – a voice that reassures us that yes, the world is sometimes crazy, but if we look at it and laugh, we have most of it covered. A voice who captured the frustrations of her generation by asking, “If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits?” Chock full of wit and wisdom of the woman herself, this one-woman tour-de-force allows Erma to tell her own story, leading us through her years lampooning life in the suburbs in her nationally syndicated newspaper column called “At Wit’s End.” From her troubled childhood, where she found comfort in the words of Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley, through her rise to fame as a journalist and public figure, discover the story behind America’s beloved humorist who championed women’s lives with wit that sprang from the most unexpected place of all – the truth.

“Immensely entertaining.” – Theatremania

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Accessible Performances:
Tuc: 11/08/18 (2:00 p.m.) – AD / OC; 11/08/18 (7:30 p.m.) – ASL
Phx: 11/25/18 (7:00 p.m.) – OC; 11/28/18 (7:30 p.m.) – AD; 11/29/18 (2:00 p.m.) – AD; 12/01/18 (2:00 p.m.) – ASL

Join a member of the artistic staff for pre-show insights 30 minutes before each performance after Opening Night.

Special Post-Show Discussions:
The Bombeck family, as well as the show’s playwrights and the director, will be holding special post-show discussions after certain performances. See below for a list of dates and guests for both Phoenix and Tucson!

Tucson Phoenix
10/24 (7:30 p.m. show): Allison Engel 11/15 (7:30 p.m. show): Betsy Bombeck
11/4 (2:00 p.m. show): Betsy Bombeck 11/28 (7:30 p.m. show): Margaret Engel
11/9 (7:30 p.m. show): Betsy Bombeck  11/29 (7:30 p.m. show): Betsy Bombeck
11/10 (2:00 p.m show): Betsy Bombeck 11/30 (7:30 p.m. show): Betsy Bombeck
  12/1 (7:30 p.m show): Betsy and Matt Bombeck
  12/2 (2:00 p.m. show): Betsy and Matt Bombeck



Erma Bombeck was a humorist, syndicated columnist, author and lecturer born in Dayton, Ohio.  After graduating from the University of Dayton, she married Bill Bombeck, moved to the suburbs, and together, started a family.    In 1965—”too old for a paper route, too young for Social Security and too tired for an affair”–she began a twice weekly column called ‘At Wit’s End’.    Soon after, her insights about raising kids and the doldrums of suburban life became nationally syndicated.   At the height of her career, Erma was syndicated in over 900 newspapers and read by 30 million readers.  Ten of her 13 books appeared on the New York Times best-seller list.  Beginning in 1975, she also appeared on ‘Good Morning America’ for five years as a commentator.  Erma had a warm but wry look at family and motherhood; “kids who come home from school, look you in the eye and ask if anyone is home.  “Housework,” she once said, “if done right, can kill you.

A 1969 speaking engagement in Phoenix led the family from Dayton to the Valley in 1971.  Her success as a columnist and author led to more serious pursuits.  In 1978, Erma was appointed to the President’s National Advisory Committee for Women.  She campaigned vigorously for the passage of the ERA Amendment.  She later wrote a book about children struggling with cancer.   

Erma passed away in 1996 from kidney disease at the age of 69.  Columnist Ellen Goodman wrote after her death. “A lot of columnists write words to end up in the Congressional Record or on the President’s desk, or at the Pulitzer Committee’s door.  But Erma Bombeck went us all one better. Her words won her the permanent place of honor in American life: the refrigerator door. Now we are again at wit’s end.”

The Erma Bombeck Project | Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop


Casey Stangl: Director
Jo Winiarski: Scenic Designer
Kish Finnegan: Costume Designer
Jaymi Lee Smith: Lighting Designer
Paul James Prendergast: Sound Designer
Rachel Berney Needleman: Dramaturg
Glenn Bruner: Stage Manager

*Denotes members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.


Jeanne Paulsen: Erma Bombeck

*Denotes members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.